The Basics of IGA ROI: How to Show Value in Identity Governance

Like most companies today, your business is likely facing increasing demands to support and protect more devices and systems that contain data critical to your business. You are spending increasing time and resources on manual, repetitive tasks for managing user accounts. And you are being squeezed by the business to do more with less.

What you need is a way to prove how investing in intelligent identity governance and administration (IGA) solutions brings value to your business and enables you to manage the identity chaos you face each day. Identity governance may be one of the smartest selections your team makes to address these challenges, so where do you start?

Let’s take a look at five foundational elements required for building the business case for identity governance, and for showing the value and ROI of identity governance solutions for your business.  

1) Understand the Impact to Cost, Compliance, and Risk Reduction

When it comes to showing the value of identity governance in your business, you need to demonstrate how your investment will impact three critical areas—cost, compliance, and risk reduction. Organizations that leverage leading identity governance solutions, like those offered from Core Security, have realized the business benefits of investing in these solutions and the value they bring in:

  • Increasing efficiencies and reducing IT and business costs
  • Enhancing compliance, review, and certification processes
  • Improving security and mitigating risks

Incorporating these three elements in your business case requires research. Do your homework and take time to identify the financial impact and expected efficiencies gained from the investment. Clearly spell out how you can better meet compliance and industry standards. And while more difficult to quantify, try to articulate the value in mitigating risk across your organization.

2) Define the Specific Challenges You Want to Solve

It’s essential that you know the current state of your organization’s most pressing challenges with regard to identity governance and access management. This means clearly articulating the challenges you face today in relation to your own business and identifying the problems you are trying to address. Make sure you specifically can identify:

  • Who currently owns each process
  • What systems, users, and applications are involved
  • Where the greatest adverse impact is occurring
  • When and how long the challenges have been known
  • Why they present a major roadblock to your business

Once you have identified the most critical areas of your identity governance challenges, you need to draft a problem summary statement in a concise, succinct manner that quantifies the costs associated with your current issues. This statement should also take into account any gaps that exist from both a compliance perspective and risk perspective, identifying any potential implications that would result from not addressing these gaps.

Your description of this challenge should define the total resources required to support the initiative, including the number of full-time employees required, the number of users supported overall, and the total number of hours required to manage this process over a specific length of time. From a compliance perspective, you may have clear requirements that you must address from either an internal or external audit, so it’s important to identify those specifically. From a risk angle, you will want to consider the balance that exists between user efficiency and overall risk to the organization.

3) Articulate and Analyze Your Solution Approach

The next step for building a business case for identity governance is to fully research and identify the IGA solutions that will best meet your needs. Many leading organizations today conclude that a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution is best suited for their needs and recognize that these solutions are widely used by many organizations across their industry.

Once you have identified the type of automated identity governance solutions your organization requires to address your top access-related challenges, it is time to articulate your solution approach. Highlighting your solution approach statement involves providing an analysis of the overall costs associated with the new investment, identifying specifically what the solution will solve, the cost savings it will derive, and the project return on investment and overall payback period length. It should also include an analysis of how the solution will better meet regulatory compliance and describe how the solution can more effectively address the balance between overall risk and usability. Also be sure to specify when the recommended investment should begin upon approval and include key considerations for the investment.

4) Show, Don’t Just Tell

Showing the value of identity governance and overall ROI means you should take time to detail your calculations through graphs, tables, and charts where possible. Provide specific cost models, summary comparisons, and other figures that reinforce the statements you are drafting as part of your business case. Typically, this includes existing and proposed IT-related access costs, business-related access costs, total costs of access-related expenses, and proposed cost savings when the proposed identity governance solution is in effect. Showing how you can save the business time, money, and resources through tables and graphs is an ideal way to get your point across quickly and effectively.  

5) Back Up Your Recommendation

After your extensive analysis and evaluation, you must clearly state your recommendation with additional proof points to substantiate your decision. This means identifying the recommended partner, specifying the relevant solutions for investment, and providing a summary comparison of your current state versus the leading solution candidate. Showing the effects of the status quo versus the leading solution candidate will clearly reveal the results of your analysis. Providing a breakeven period and cumulative savings will further reinforce the value that your IGA solution will provide to the business.

It's Time to Build Your Case

Your organization can’t afford to put off such a critical investment. But leveraging an intelligent identity governance solution that mitigates risk and manages the complexity of your access challenges requires you to take the first step. Remember, an effective business case shows the value of the solution by directly correlating the outcomes of investment with benefits to the business from a cost, compliance, and risk perspective. Do the hard work required so you can show the ROI of identity governance even before you make the investment.  

Ready to get started in building your business case for identity governance?

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Download our guide that provides step-by-step instructions and examples for making the case for identity governance in your organization.